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Defence Forces Strength

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 21 June 2012

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ceisteanna (136, 137, 138)

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

137 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the number of women, in the Air Corps, at all ranks, has fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30237/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

138 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the number of women, in the Naval Service, at all ranks, has fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30238/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

139 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the number of women, in the Army, at all ranks, has fluctuated in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30239/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 to 139, inclusive, together.

The following tables set out the number of women by rank serving in the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps at 31 December for each of the years 2007 to 2011, and at 31 May 2012, the latest date for which figures are available.

The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. Unlike many other national armed forces, the Defence Forces have no restrictions as regards the assignment of men or women to the full range of operational and administrative duties. All promotions and career courses are open to both genders on merit. In 2007, the Department received the report of a TNS/MRBI study it had commissioned, titled "Retention and Recruitment of Women in the Defence Forces". This research was commissioned with a view to identifying areas where action could be taken to maximise the number of women applicants to the Defence Forces, hence increasing the number joining. The question of retention was also studied.

The results of the research were, on balance, positive. Three-quarters of serving women agreed that the Defence Forces are a good place to work. In addition there was a very high level of satisfaction (70%-80%) expressed as regards the issues of job security, pay and benefits and the variety of work on offer. The recommendations of the report have been implemented and the challenges identified therein continue to be addressed.

The Defence Forces, on the direction of the Chief of Staff, has established a Working Group to examine levels of participation by women in the organisation. The Working Group will,inter alia, inquire into why women apply or do not apply for positions within the Defence Forces and what can be done to increase awareness among women of a career in the Defence Forces. The data gathered from the review will be used to formulate new policies in this area, specifically aimed at increasing participation by women in the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces prides itself on providing a gender neutral working environment. Policies on equality are being constantly communicated to all ranks. The military authorities are alert and vigilant to this issue and are committed to addressing this matter in a continuing and proactive manner.

Strength of Women in the Army 2007-2012

LT Gen

Maj Gen

Brig Gen

Col

LT Col

Comdt

Capt

LT

Total Offrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

Total NCOS

PTES

Cadets

Total

31-Dec-07

1

18

44

40

103

3

1

23

102

129

216

8

456

31-Dec-08

1

21

48

41

111

3

1

32

108

144

200

13

468

31-Dec-09

2

19

43

47

111

3

1

32

109

145

194

12

462

31-Dec-10

1

18

41

51

111

2

1

33

109

145

200

11

467

31-Dec-11

2

19

46

45

112

2

1

35

119

157

194

4

467

31-May-12

2

20

44

48

114

2

32

119

153

191

1

459

Strength of Women in the Air Corps 2007-2012

LT Gen

Maj Gen

Brig Gen

Col

LT Col

Comdt

Capt

LT

Total Offrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

Total NCOS

PTES

Cadets

Total

31-Dec-07

3

2

5

1

1

10

12

15

1

33

31-Dec-08

2

2

4

1

3

10

14

13

1

32

31-Dec-09

4

1

5

1

4

10

15

12

1

33

31-Dec-10

4

2

6

1

4

9

14

12

32

31-Dec-11

2

3

5

1

4

13

18

7

30

31-May-12

2

3

5

1

4

13

18

6

29

Strength of Women in the Naval Service 2007-2012

LT Gen

Maj Gen

Brig Gen

Col

LT Col

Comdt

Capt

LT

Total Offrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGTS

CPLS

Total NCOS

PTES

Cadets

Total

31-Dec-07

10

8

18

7

7

40

6

71

31-Dec-08

2

10

11

23

9

9

35

3

70

31-Dec-09

2

10

11

23

9

9

34

6

72

31-Dec-10

2

10

14

26

8

8

34

2

70

31-Dec-11

3

13

12

28

11

11

28

1

68

31-May-12

4

12

12

28

11

11

27

1

67

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